where the writers are
Descartes' Street

A couple of days ago I was walking behind the Pantheon, looking for the rue Descartes with Alechinsky's tree and Bonnefoy's poem; I went by the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, at the Sorbonne. There were two lines out front, on either side of the door, occupying most of the sidewalk: one for students with cards, waiting for a spot to free up inside, and one for people without cards waiting to apply for cards. I thought of Green Library at Stanford, which is often empty, partly because Humanities is a rather small, though wonderful, part of Stanford and partly because students can access so much electronically, without setting foot in the building itself. It is disheartening to see the poverty (and red tape) of the French education system, relative, yes, to the American system with its high fees (but also financial aid) but also to the Canadian, with a high degree of government support. 

Pouring rain. Have to go out later to Montmartre.